If you’re among the groups of college students who are mixing alcohol with energy drinks, it’s time to learn just how dangerous that drink can be. While energy drinks are designed to provide energy, they were never intended to be mixed with alcohol, which can end up causing more harm than good.
Energy drinks contain large amounts of caffeine, often double or triple the amount in regular sodas. In addition to caffeine many energy drinks contain other approved stimulants. While they do provide energy, they can also dangerously increase a person’s heart rate, increase their blood pressure and cause dehydration. If that doesn’t seem dangerous enough, when mixed with alcohol, they have even more detrimental effects.
Mixed drinks that include energy drinks not only pose physical risks to the individual like blacking out and alcohol poisoning, but they also pose dangerous risks to the community from young adults who may be “wide awake drunk” after partying all night.
A recent study conducted by Megan Patrick of the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research and Jennifer Maggs of Penn State University, examined the impact of mixing energy drinks with alcohol, which is a growing trend among college students.
The study analyzed responses from 652 college students, over the course of 4 semesters, concerning their consumption of energy drinks and alcohol and the associated negative consequences they experienced.
The result? Patrick said that college students tended to drink more heavily and become more intoxicated on days when they used both energy drinks and alcohol, as opposed to days when they only used alcohol. The effects can also be felt in the long-term. Patrick says, “Our findings suggest that the use of energy drinks and alcohol together may lead to heavier drinking and more serious alcohol-related problems.”
If you do decide to drink, encourage your friends not to mix alcohol with energy drinks. As always, watch yourself and make safe and healthy decisions.